“The Demystification of Aviation” (Part Two of Two): Climbing the Ranks
As we explored in Part One, the cultural consciousness of aviation was at an all-time high during the 1950s and 60s. However, this could not last forever. As airline travel became more commonplace, the allure of aviation seemed to wane as we entered the 1980s. This lack of interest in the advancements of the industry steadily led to a decline in employment within aviation. The levels of inspiration that once filled children’s minds everywhere were depleting. However, they had not entirely vanished as an entire generation now looked up to their parents’ positions in the field. Interest in aviation had changed from a national pride in the burgeoning industry to a more typical inspiration. Most of the new generation of aviation employees were no longer inspired by societal interests but rather by their parent’s hard work and passion.
Our own Sean P., General Manager, falls into this category. From a young age, Sean was exposed to the industry’s intricacies. His father was an A & P certified mechanic, working at what is now known as the Bombardier Service Center. Sean’s dad would often bring him to work. At seven, Sean had a chance to be on board a Challenger 600 during a test flight, igniting a spark of amazement and love for the aircraft he was surrounded by. He was highly interested in the science of aviation, so much so that he chose to demonstrate air flow mechanics with a model airplane wing for his eighth-grade science project.
His passion for aviation followed him to his technical high school, where Sean joined the manufacturing technology shop. This provided him vital experience in crafting parts, where he began working in a co-op at Berkshire Industries, preparing parts in a factory setting. After graduating, Sean worked as a line service technician at Bombardier. He had the skill set and the drive to do more. He asked his supervisor to let him prove himself beyond his role as an entry-level technician. They provided him with an opportunity to craft panels for a Challenger 600 program.
Sean wanted to push himself to other areas of aviation, particularly the electrical aspects of aircraft. After taking a semester at a local community college to grasp the fundamentals of electrical work, he was able to expand his duties at Bombardier. He soon moved to Tennessee and was hired as a production planner for Embraer, primarily working on commercial jets. Setting his sights on earning a leadership role in upper management, he was promoted to General Manager at the Embraer Service Center at KBDL from 2011-2018. In 2019 Sean accepted a position as General Manager at Pro Star Aviation.
Sean’s journey from a young lover of flight to a management position at multiple aviation companies says a few things about the uniqueness of this industry altogether. Unlike most careers, which require thorough and often expensive schooling and degrees, aviation is an industry where significant progress can be made within companies with hands-on technical training. Sean’s story of climbing through the ranks through perseverance and commitment demonstrates that this industry offers great success to those who may be starting their professional aviation careers.
The impending aviation employee shortage explored in Part One will not be solved entirely by people seeking to follow pathway like Sean’s. While the pathway is still viable, Pro Star has been seeking out employees rounding out their military service and encouraging them to use their DD214 to test for an A&P, or to attend and acerated A&P training and test facility like Baker’s School of Aeronautics. Sean is on the Board of Directors for a Technical High School in Massachusetts which offers students FAA Part 147 A&P Training. One of Pro Star Aviation’s owners is helping the NH Technical College A&P program move to a facility local to our home base. One of our Regional Sales Manager’s is on the planning group with the NBAA Training and Scholarship committee. As an organization, Pro Star Aviation is immersed is trying to promote the love for aviation to the next generation that drew all of us to this community.
END OF PART TWO